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Favorite grooves to play w/just you and a drummer? (no bass player)

dancehall

Member
Messages
2,049
Let's say also that hypothetically he doesn't *know* any of the songs you know, but he's a good drummer, and you just want to settle into a nice groove and vibe with him. I was thinking "Who Knows" by Hendrix would be excellent for this. What would be your picks?
 

WordMan

Wax Rhapsodic
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
9,868
I absolutely LOVE doing this. To be clear: They don’t have to know these songs. When I navigate the groove or move from verse to chorus, I sell the changes hard and they settle in easily.

- Best all time: Monkey Man by The Rolling Stones. I have yet to start playing this and not gotten the drummer smiling and laughing with it. Just a great jam.
- Other Stones: Brown Sugar, Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’, Bitch - oh, and a great greasy one is Slave.
- Aerosmith - Toys in the Attic, Last Child, Same Old Song and Dance
- Zep - Custard Pie, Rock and Roll - I also do Trampled Under Foot in open G and is super fun
- Talking Heads - Life During Wartime - great groove!
- Montrose - I Don’t Want It
- AC/DC - Whole Lotta Rosie, Girls Got Rhythm, Problem Child, Sin City - most of it!!
- James Brown - I Feel Good, the Big Payback
- Stevie/Jeff Beck - Superstition; Stevie/RHCP - Higher Ground

That’s a start.
 

dancehall

Member
Messages
2,049
I absolutely LOVE doing this. To be clear: They don’t have to know these songs. When I navigate the groove or move from verse to chorus, I sell the changes hard and they settle in easily.

- Best all time: Monkey Man by The Rolling Stones. I have yet to start playing this and not gotten the drummer smiling and laughing with it. Just a great jam.
- Other Stones: Brown Sugar, Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’, Bitch - oh, and a great greasy one is Slave.
- Aerosmith - Toys in the Attic, Last Child, Same Old Song and Dance
- Zep - Custard Pie, Rock and Roll - I also do Trampled Under Foot in open G and is super fun
- Talking Heads - Life During Wartime - great groove!
- Montrose - I Don’t Want It
- AC/DC - Whole Lotta Rosie, Girls Got Rhythm, Problem Child, Sin City - most of it!!
- James Brown - I Feel Good, the Big Payback
- Stevie/Jeff Beck - Superstition; Stevie/RHCP - Higher Ground

That’s a start.
Never heard Slave before, that's a nice little riff!
 

WordMan

Wax Rhapsodic
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
9,868
Never heard Slave before, that's a nice little riff!
Yes! A great slowish one to warm up with. Also, after we engage on the riff, I can leave off parts and let the drummer groove. Leaving off the back half of the riff and letting the drummer finish it is a great way to use the space in the sound ;)
 

WordMan

Wax Rhapsodic
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
9,868
@dancehall here is how I approach the Talking Heads riff - I made this clip as a guide for a drummer buddy who wanted something to work with between jams - full of busy guitar fun and I assume you can hear how I maintain the pocket so there is a lot of room for the drummer to get a groove on, along with obvious changes between the verse and chorus so they can go nuts with a fill:


Also - @mc5nrg - that wasn’t what the OP asked for, but more importantly, I love being the rhythm guitarist who is the “pocket anchor” vs. the Bassist. The bassist still has to hold down the groove, but they have a bit more leeway to add melodic content in their bassline. I want to be like Keith, or Hetfield, or Malcolm Young.
 
Last edited:

Cousin

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
633
I absolutely LOVE doing this. To be clear: They don’t have to know these songs. When I navigate the groove or move from verse to chorus, I sell the changes hard and they settle in easily.

- Best all time: Monkey Man by The Rolling Stones. I have yet to start playing this and not gotten the drummer smiling and laughing with it. Just a great jam.
- Other Stones: Brown Sugar, Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’, Bitch - oh, and a great greasy one is Slave.
- Aerosmith - Toys in the Attic, Last Child, Same Old Song and Dance
- Zep - Custard Pie, Rock and Roll - I also do Trampled Under Foot in open G and is super fun
- Talking Heads - Life During Wartime - great groove!
- Montrose - I Don’t Want It
- AC/DC - Whole Lotta Rosie, Girls Got Rhythm, Problem Child, Sin City - most of it!!
- James Brown - I Feel Good, the Big Payback
- Stevie/Jeff Beck - Superstition; Stevie/RHCP - Higher Ground

That’s a start.
Oh man, good selection. You sound like somebody I'd wanna jam with, here's a few more-

- Stones - Hand of Fate, All Down the Line, Ventilator Blues, Happy
- Aerosmith- Sweet Emotion- Adam's apple
- Hendrix- Manic Depression- Gypsy Eyes
- Beatles -I Dig a Pony - I Feel Fine
- Wilson Pickett - 99 and a Half - Funky Broadway
- James Brown - Sex Machine- Funky Good time
 

WordMan

Wax Rhapsodic
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
9,868
Can you really have a groove without bass, though?
Slave is all about that bass line though!
Which non-drummer partners with the drummer to define the groove in The Rolling Stones? In AC/DC? In Metallica? If you answer “the bassist” to any of those, then you aren’t listening to them groove.

And what are The White Stripes? Black Keys when they don’t add players? The Flat Duojets and House of Freaks? Bands with no bassist establish grooves all the time.
 

slogger

Member
Messages
1,720
Yes you can. My Brother(drummer) and I have been playing together for years. Both with and without other musicians. You need to figure out where to fill the spaces in a less is more approach. It’s not ideal but it is do-able if you know the songs well and the musician you are playing with and vice versa.
Can you really have a groove without bass, though?
 

tapeworm

Member
Messages
8,626
If you’ve got the right drummer this one is a hit. Lots you can do with it. You can even take it into surf guitar wipeout territory.
 

WordMan

Wax Rhapsodic
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
9,868
When I used to duo jam with Aronoff we’d do Fela Ransome Kuti grooves, Meters (Little Moneymaker), random free-form grooves too. Fun times and loud as f*#k!
You jammed alone with Kenny Aronoff?

Story, please!!
 




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